Photographs are great tools to help us document our history. One picture can show so much. When I visited Yasukuni Shrine in 2018, little did I know that would be the case for me. At that time, I captured a scene that would soon disappear. What was it?
In front of the shrine is a major road, Yasukuni-Dori. It is lined with cherry blossoms. From one of its crossings, you could see Tokyo Skytree. It was a splendid sight in spring when the trees bloomed. And when people crossed, it was a great scene.
The first time I took the shot I was over the moon. For me, it was classic Tokyo. I thought I would capture it during the cherry blossoms season of succeeding years.
Well, I didn’t make it to Yasukuni in 2019. Then the pandemic hit and I didn’t go in 2020 or 2021. During those three years, this building appeared between the crossing and the tower. And that is a real pity as far as I’m concerned. We’ll never see that fabulous view again.
It was a real loss. The scene was classic Tokyo. I’ve never seen the photo on the internet so I wonder how many people saw it over the years? Maybe others didn’t rate it as highly as I did?
Anyway, it goes to show the importance of photography. It documents the changes in a city over time. It is one of the reasons why I love taking photos. I’ve grabbed a piece of Tokyo history.
The rest of my visit that year to the shrine was nothing special. I only managed to take some typical cherry blossom photos. Well, I liked them, but they were nothing out of the ordinary. Still, they will join my collection of how Tokyo once looked.
You can read my main article about Yasukuni Shrine here. And if you have been there to enjoy its cherry blossoms, I’d love to hear about your experience. Of course, you can leave comments and questions below!